Apprentice Week - Tuesday - Small is Beautiful

By Zahir

My name is Zahir Bobat and I am a 3rd year Degree Apprentice working at Epix Systems and studying at Manchester Metropolitan University. The pathway I chose was Software Engineering which coincides with the work that I do at Epix even though the programming languages may be different.

Working at a small company as an apprentice allows you to bypass typical protocols that would be present in bigger companies which would stop you from creating code that will actually be released to customers and may mean that you would be stuck doing product testing and watching online tutorials before you can start coding. Working for a smaller company also helps with university since it enables to practise coding techniques and learn the proper ways to code at work and they can then be applied at university. You could be coding technologies like Android app development and Ajax for customers before it is taught at university, so by the time it is taught in the university you will have a massive advantage since you will be well accustomed to the technology. And even if it is taught in a different language you will still be able to understand the concepts behind the code which can be extremely helpful.

Working for a small company also means that you can influence the direction the company and the product are taking, compared to a larger company. You will also have more of a role in deciding and impacting, based on your feedback, how the company operates and runs its bi-weekly sprints.

In a small company you will also have the chance to design and code large projects, I have done a few over the last 3 years. The latest project I have been working on is to improve the functionality of the existing windowing/multi-tasking functionality within our system. I was in control of this project from collecting feedback from users, deciding what was going to be changed, designing the new features and coding the new changes. This project has been part of my Year 3 university assignment and has been worked on hand in hand for my university assignment.

More information

For more information on the MMU degree apprenticeships, visit

For information about national opportunities, visit

For a full list of NAW2021 events, download Events-Listing_V3.pdf.

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